An initiative kickstarted more than 2 decades ago in supporting sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in the backward regions of karnataka, besides enabling community to build assets, provided space for forming community collectives and enhancing their bargaining power.
IDPMS has touched more than 8000 families networked with about 15 voluntary and community based organisations. Women saved and accessed funds from mainstream financial institutions. They were able to manage their assets, improve their skills and plan for the future this is a journey not merely of IDPMS but of the marginalised, disadvantaged invisible women and their families.
While networking with voluntary and community based organisations provided a forum for lobbying and advocacy, IDPMS wanted to develop alternative community-led models to meet the challenges of shrinking livelihood opportunities, resources turning uneconomical and poor, redundancy of traditional skills & knowledge and unfair trade practices. The community could not access the social and economic security schemes of the state. The state had to be engaged in providing social services. To build alternative models IDPMS expanded its activities to a few more backward areas of northern karnataka. IDPMS has started working with communities directly in about 100 villages in four districts.
These efforts initiated three years ago has touched 4000 poor families. About 350 community groups have been formed. Engagement of the state and the local government is need to provide health, water, education and livelihood services. A collaborative effort with the state to conserve water and the soil has started. A rural artisan cluster is in formation stage. A pilot project on fair trade practice has just been completed. This is a beginning; the journey has to continue.
The Road Ahead
To reduce vulnerability, to enhance economic security, to increase livelihood opportunities, financial and non-financial services have to be provided. The physically challenged, widows, children in danger, dalits and minorities spread across our project areas have to participate in this process. IDPMS is focusing on building community-governed micro financial institutions, health and social security systems, feasible community enterprises with competing capabilities.
We believes in institutionalizing community power, building alliances and engaging community in governance of social services, developing a healthy community-government-private partnership. Through this platform we want to engage the community at large to be part of these programs as a supporter by contributing some of your ideas, donating financially or spreading awareness about our work.